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Crown electricity revenues fall – why not prices?

Press release: Domestic Energy Users’ Network, 3 October 2008

Crown’s electricity revenues falling – but why aren’t power prices falling?

“Government revenues from the electricity sector fell this year, to $1.012 billion, down from $1.124 billion last year”, said Molly Melhuish, analyst for DEUN (Domestic Energy Users’ Network) today.

These revenues can be recycled into home energy programmes – which must include both home energy retrofits to reduce power bills for all consumers, and power bill rebates to the most vulnerable consumers.

“DEUN welcomes the Home Energy Fund, which will pay for some home energy retrofits - but the $1 billion Fund will be spread over fifteen years. The whole 15-year programme amounts to less than a single year’s tax and dividend take,” Mrs Melhuish said.[1] <#_ftn1>

Consumers have heard enough of supply-side excuses for reduced electricity profits this year. Company profits are far, far too high, because companies are allowed to hike domestic power prices to make up for every little problem on the supply side.

The time has come to answer two questions:

Why are continuing domestic power price rises tolerated? Note that almost all the company profits come from mass-market customers, because there is strong competition for large customers. Another way of putting that – is Government using power company revenues as a tax by another name?

Is Government happy to sit back and watch each power company use its profits to expand its assets? Why doesn’t Government insist on far, far more investment in the nation’s houses, to stop the energy waste which is crippling so many household budgets?


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